IT’S RAINING. The Marri trees told us it would.
After a long hot dry summer, is there anything in the world quite so gorgeous as constant gentle drizzle hitting the tin roof and perfuming the air we breathe.
It’s all rather hard to bottle but as we all know, for those who hear and smell it, the memory lives on.
The dusty foliage is washed clean and the domestic and farming stock are lifting their faces to the rain showers.
Life just seems more liveable and for a moment, all the chaos in the world takes a back seat.
Sometimes we become despondent when the summer drags on for too long.
But, let’s not forget that this is Toodyay – our very own pretty historical town nestled in a valley which we know now will soon turn green again, where the ‘mighty’ Avon will once again flow under the bridge and where those lucky enough to know the secret live.
Keep raining Huey.
I RECENTLY received an invite to ‘step back in time’ and attend a celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Connors Mill.
Being a past staff member, I am one of the few who served under all five managers.
It was an excellent evening and congratulations must go to all involved especially Margie Eberle the shire museum curator and to Beth Frayne for compiling the historical booklet which highlights all five main eras of the mill.
We all realise the wonderful deed that former Crs Mac Wroth and Ted Davey did when, with community support behind them, they managed to save the mill from demolition.
I had not trod those stairs inside since 2010, so walking among the renovated exhibits brought back a lot of memories, especially of how hot it is on the top floor.
After working there for so long when it was the tourist centre, many different characters passed through those front doors, but as I typed on the mother of all typewriters, put up with dust coming from the mill equipment installation, making numerous cups of tea for volunteers, the visitors kept on rocking up asking for information and directions.
It was an incredible place to work.
We always drive by without giving the mill a second thought, or think it is a great place to park in the shade if you want to sneak a coffee but give yourself a treat and go and see the exhibits in there at least once this year.
Let’s celebrate this magnificent building that has been through fire and seen so much by visiting and thinking of the people who have gone before you in 150 years.
IT SEEMS that some people need an adult education course in reading.
The Nottingham Track south of Duidgee Park is a designated Emergency Track Only, not to be used by unauthorised motorised vehicles other than those providing emergency assistance/work.
However, there are many drivers who are either unable to read or believe they are the emergency vehicles.
They drive up and down this track in the belief that they are above the law or are specially endowed with inalienable rights.
An education program or penalty payments need to be handed out.
Dr Monika Zechetmayr
HUGE congratulations to Jaquie Broadwood for putting together a fabulous fundraising quiz night on January 25 at the Memorial Hall in Toodyay.
The night involved an enormous amount of organising by Jaquie and in such a short amount of time.
All money raised was donated towards bush fire recovery charities.
Good on ya Jaquie for a great night for a great cause.
Jan and Mick Rogers
IT WAS sad to hear about Chris Firns’ passing.
He was someone who always had Toodyay’s interests at heart.
I would like to record the following and express thanks for Chris’s actions on the first and following days of our catastrophic bushfire in 2009.
As Toodyay Shire President, Chris played a leading role in the emergency recovery process working as the shire representative liaising with Julie Brown, the Emergency Welfare Officer with the Northam-based Department of Child Protection.
Chris worked tirelessly helping to organise food and emergency accommodation for evacuees and supported the volunteers during the long days that followed.
Those early days were crucial for providing immediate assistance.
Subsequently, the official Toodyay Bushfire Recovery Committee was set up with representatives of local and state government agencies, the Salvation Army, Red Cross and other groups.
As part of this, the Toodyay Bushfire Recovery Team was established, and co-ordinated by former shire councillor Charlie Wroth.
We owe a lot to Chris, Charlie, and all the volunteers, for the part they played in Toodyay’s ongoing recovery.
Dr Robyn Taylor
Professional Historian (MPHA)
ON BEHALF of my family and myself, I would like to take this opportunity to write to The Herald to thank those in the community who have supported me after my dismissal as a volunteer for St John’s Ambulance.
We as a family have been overwhelmed with the kindness and compassion shown towards us during these past difficult months.
We are amazed at the lengths of concern that some have shown and their continued support.
For an organisation such as St John’s which relies so heavily on volunteers, it reflects very poorly on their management that volunteers are not able to raise concerns that they face while on the job, without fear of backlash or reprisal.
I have no doubt that the bullying and intimidation directed at myself was initiated within management at the Regional Office (in Northam).
I have thoroughly enjoyed my 39 years of volunteering as an ambulance officer, serving the community of Toodyay.
I have gained so many new skills and confidence and met some truly wonderful people and made lifelong friendships.
Please continue to support the volunteers as it still is a very difficult time for them as well at the Toodyay sub-centre.
ON BEHALF of the Toodyay Farmers Market Committee I would like to take this opportunity to thank all at The Toodyay Herald for your ongoing support for the markets.
We are coming up to our fifth anniversary this April and without people like yourselves supporting us, this milestone would not have been achieved.
So again, thank you one and all.
Toodyay Farmers Market Committee
IT IS with heartfelt thanks I am writing this to the supporters of Charlie Wroth.
There are too many of you to thank personally for your individual efforts but please be assured you are all in our hearts and minds.
As Charlie’s sister, I was stunned to hear of his treatment by St John Ambulance WA (SAJA).
He was shattered.
Please keep emailing those who can make a difference, as we cannot let this fade away.
Charlie is prohibited from speaking out, so please continue to be his voice.
SJAWA is deepening the chasm between paid and volunteer ambulance officers.
We cannot allow this to happen to all the wonderful volunteers from all walks of life.
“We have your back Charlie” is a phrase I have heard from Charlie’s friends and former colleagues.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for standing by our special man.
IN THE early hours of 29 December 2019, my friend’s kangaroo Free Beer was tragically run over and killed on West Toodyay Road.
My friend Debbie Dymond adopted Free Beer and Bunji two years ago and raised them by hand on her property in Wooroloo.
The kangaroos had to be fed at four-hourly intervals and Debbie basically put her life on hold for two years to raise these beautiful creatures.
Last month Debbie moved to a property on West Toodyay Road to fulfill her dream of ‘rewilding’ her kangaroos.
Tragically Free Beer wandered onto the road and was killed in horrific circumstances.
While I would never condone anyone swerving to miss wildlife on the road – it is possible to lose control of the car – I urge drivers to use caution when driving in areas known for wildlife activity.
If kangaroos are sighted near the road it is possible to slow down in advance.
If a kangaroo is inadvertently hit, it is preferable to pull over and check on the animal.
A ranger can attend to euthanise an injured animal so they don’t suffer unnecessarily, and pouches can be checked for joeys.
Free Beer was a totally tame and loving kangaroo,
He would have been sitting near the road calmly checking things out and his death was avoidable and unnecessary.
His sibling Bunji is so traumatised she spends her days by Debbie’s side or lying down on Free Beer’s grave.
I hope this article raises awareness about wildlife, especially with so many bush creatures lost in recent bushfires and I urge drivers to be vigilant on the road and avoid unnecessary deaths.
AFTER more than 30 years of volunteering as an ambulance officer, Charlie Wroth has been tossed on the scrap heap by St John Ambulance’s paid officials.
We tried to find out why our colleague was removed from his position as president of the Toodyay sub-centre last month and sacked from the organisation as a whole but hit the brick wall of bureaucracy.
We were told the reasons for his dismissal were “confidential” and that was as far as we got.
It is not the first time that St John administrators have sought to remove Charlie from the local sub-branch.
A year or so ago he was ‘paused’.
If you strip back this ‘weasel word’ to common language, it means he was rendered powerless to perform any volunteering duties and was sworn to secrecy.
He couldn’t even tell his wife why he wasn’t answering any ambulance call-outs.
St John officials instructed Charlie to tell everyone that he was “on holidays”.
Perhaps Charlie’s forthright comments in representing sub-branch volunteers was an affront to management who issues directives which at times are at odds with the volunteer experience.
Whatever the reason, to summarily dismiss a dedicated volunteer and have him escorted to and from the premises is disgraceful.
The remaining volunteers have been put in the invidious position of either resigning in solidarity with Charlie or continuing to volunteer for an organisation that does not respect years of selfless commitment to the local community and surrounding areas.